In a sign of internal rivalry in the Baloch separatist movement, Brahumdagh Bugti’s cousin has said he would fight for Pakistan in the event of a war with India. Shahzain Bugti, a grandson of slain Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti, has said that if war breaks out with India he and his tribal warriors would fight against Indian troops along with the Pakistan Army.
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Shahzain, a cousin of Geneva-based Brahumdagh who has sought asylum in India, said at the annual convention of the Jamhoori Watan Party which was formed by his grandfather that the Bugti tribe would always stand in defence of Pakistan.
“Brahumdagh can stay in India or Geneva that is his personal decision. But as far as I or the party is concerned we will always follow the dictates of Nawab Akbar Bugti,” Shahzain said.
He said his grandfather had opted for Pakistan at the time of Partition and his party would remain loyal to this ideology.
“Nawab Akbar Bugti was always with Pakistan and in the past also our tribesmen fought for Pakistan. Nothing has changed. Our ideology is the same. Even today if India goes to war with Pakistan we will defend the Pakistani borders,” he said.
Ever since nationalist leader Akbar Bugti was killed in a military operation in August, 2006, there has been a war of succession between three of his grandsons including Shahzain and Brahumdagh who are both claimants to the title of the tribe’s chieftainship, and have refused to recognise Aali Bugti as his successor.
Akbar Bugti had decided to nominate Brahumdagh as his successor during his lifetime but met with resistance from several tribal elders.
He had informally appointed Brahumdagh as his political successor and Mir Aali as his tribal successor. Brahumdagh, who has been living in Switzerland, on Tuesday approached the Indian Embassy in Geneva seeking political asylum in India. His application was received by the Home Ministry in New Delhi which is examining it.
The troubled Balochistan province has been in the eye of a storm since Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the atrocities and human rights violations being committed in the province. India has also raised the Balochistan issue at the UN.
On Saturday, several hundred tribesmen also held a demonstration against India insisting they would fight side by side with the Pakistan military if war breaks out.